Riske joins list of bullpen concerns

First it was Carlos Villanueva. Now David Riske is among the bullpen arms of concern to Brewers manager Ken Macha.

Riske surrendered a go-ahead solo home run to Kendry Morales in Saturday’s 4-4 tie with the Angels and has allowed at least one run in all five of his Cactus League appearances. In five innings, Riske has surrendered 10 hits including three home runs, and he also surrendered a homer to Bill Hall in a Minor League scrimmage earlier this month.

“I think he’s had enough outings to where he has to get the ball moving a little bit,” Macha said. “Is that a concern? If you ask him, I think he’d probably say the same thing. He feels, and we feel, he’s a better pitcher than what he’s done down here.”

Riske got a late start in the Cactus League because he was rehabbing from right elbow surgery. He and Villanueva are the leading contenders to pitch the eighth inning in front of closer Trevor Hoffman, but Riske has a 10.80 ERA and Villanueva’s is 8.64. On top of that, Hoffman is at a bit of a standstill in his return from an oblique injury.

On a brighter note, Jorge Julio had another good outing against the Angels on Saturday. He issued one walk but otherwise worked a clean eighth inning and preserved a 3-3 tie.

“Until we get the Hoffman situation figured out, we’ve got a lot of variables there,” Macha said.  

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